Photo: Agnieszka Cytacka

Jósefina Alanko is Finnish visual artist based on Finland and Poland.
Alanko is working with sculptural elements combining them into painting and spatial art.
The base of her every piece is the material itself and its chemical properties.

FI +358503422236
PL +48691551778

Kuvasto Ry
Finnish painters union
Joensuu artist association

Dariusz Leśnikowski’s text for the exhibition ” Deformation of life” in Lodz, Poland 2022:

Jean Dubuffet once said that “art should be conceived out of material and, in a spiritual sense, should borrow its language from it”. It seems that this attitude is very close to the young Finnish artist Johanna-Josefina Alanko. 

The artist tries to transform the passive plastic matter into an organism pulsating with life. Her paintings, with their character of allusive structural abstraction, are intriguing, but also disturbing. The works are characterized by the directness of the materials used in the compositions, which are often untypical. They make an impact by the tactile nature of the matter, natural structure, juxtapositions of textures. Thanks to this they acquire new formal qualities, coming close to relief and collage. 

Among the artist’s intentions is certainly the desire to capture the dialectic of forces that control nature, the world, and in recent works, the inner life of man. Thickly applied layers of material bring to mind something biological and primal, something that emerges from the chaos of the beginning. Pictorial forms resemble microscopic magnifications, they have a cellular, embryonic character, they exist among infiltrations and innervations. The materials with qualities close to life-like substances and forms are the signs of the process of birth, transition, also alterations and deformations. The effects of multiplication and circulation evoke the process of constant duration. 

This attitude is reflected not only in the painting technique used, but also in the forms the artist’s other artistic creations take. In addition to multi-layered assemblages constructed from various materials, Johanna-Josefina Alanko presents her viewers with original ceramics, set in a similar mental space. 

The exhibition of her works takes place at a special time. It is the moment of overcoming death, resurrection, rebirth of life, return of spring along with vitality and fertility. In the traditions of many cultures, one of the basic symbols of such a transformation has always been the egg. In its oval shape there is a hope that is about to come true. In the ceramic forms created by Johanna-Josefina Alanko, the motif of rebirth and fertility is emphasized by additional attributes, among them elements of sensual nature. In the imagination of many peoples, the most perfect form in the world had a cosmic meaning. The universe was sometimes a huge egg, which was formed by an omnipotent divine being. 

In the Finnish epic Kalevala the earth and sky were formed from egg crumbs, the sun came out of yolks, the white gave rise to the moon, the bright spots to stars and the dark particles to clouds. In Slavic culture egg was also a symbol of new life and was used in spring rituals. As an element of rituals it is also present in Christian culture. 

The theme of transformation and rebirth is treated today in a multifaceted way. Apart from various cultural, symbolic references and beliefs, universal themes and those set in a specific context, new expectations and hopes appear every year. Today other ones − different and more dramatic − than just a year ago